THE Court of Appeals (CA) has allowed the government to scrutinize the bank accounts of three senators who are facing plunder and graft charges at the Sandiganbayan—Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada—in connection with the pork barrel scam.
The CA’s Special 2nd Division, in a resolution penned by Associate Justice Manuel Barrios, gave the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) 90 days to examine the bank deposits of the lawmakers who were accused of having received hundreds of millions of pesos in kickbacks from ghost projects funded by their Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel. Also charged along with the senators is the suspected brains of the pork scam, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
Justices Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Normandie Pizarro concurred with the resolution dated May 27, 2014 but which was not released to the media. The Manila Times, however, obtained a copy of the order.
The appellate court also instructed the AMLC to submit a report to the court when it is finished with evaluating the bank accounts of the lawmakers.
Covered by the resolution are bank accounts of Enrile, Revilla and Estrada in Landbank, Security Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Metrobank, Citibank and other institutions.
In the case of Enrile, the AMLC will pore over his deposits at Landbank with account numbers 00024155TAO1/TAPOOO24155TAO1, 000034010544TAO1, 00003401054420, 3042002827, 3042002835, 3042002843, 3042101094, 3042101108, 3042101116 and account numbers 0512-357486-001 and 0512-357486-550 at Security Bank.
On Friday, the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division suspended Estrada for 90 days. He and Revilla are detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Enrile was allowed to extend his stay at the PNP hospital.
Recently, the same CA division ordered the freezing of the bank accounts of Napoles and her husband Jaime and their children Jo Christine, James Christopher, John Christian, Jeane and Jane Napoles.
Also frozen were the bank accounts of whistleblower Benhur Luy, his mother Gertrudes and Arthur Luy; Merlina Sunas; Evelyn Ditchon de Leon; Marina Sula; Nova Kaye Dulay Batal; Ronald Lim; and Simonette Briones.